How to make Brown Gravy Mix

You know the packets of dry gravy mix? The ones at the store? You can make your own Homemade Gravy Mix in just a few steps!

Homemade dry gravy mix in a measuring spoon


Brown Gravy Mix

I know folks hate perosnal stories from bloggers, but I want to share with you that I just realized many of my posts that use the word bouillon autocorrected to bullion.

So my beefy recipes are pure GOLD! LOL.

What is Brown Gravy?

Au Jus vs Brown Gravy

Au jus is generally just seasoned pan juices while gravy is a thickened mixture using a roux, cream or cornstarch slurry to thicken.

What is in Gravy?

Now onto the informational stuff. Most of what gravy mix is made out of is flour. Yep, a thickener. What you need for brown gravy mix:

  • Thickening agent
  • Seasoning
  • Liquid

These three items can be customized to your preference and liking, but are the 3 essential things you’ll need to make a delicious homemade gravy mix.

Dry brown gravy mix on a cutting board

Generally the thickening agent is flour, cornstarch or arrowroot. Since flour is the cheapest, most store bought gravy mixes use it. But you can certainly use one of the alternatives.

The second is seasoning. Beef bouillon (not to be confused with gold bars LOL) is the most common of the seasonings with the second being salt, of course.

Dry gravy mix in a glass container

What is beef bouillon?

It just dehydrated beef stock so you get all the flavor of the stock without any liquid. This makes it shelf stable with no refrigeration needed.

It comes in the form of a packed cube or also granular and is commonly mixed with vegetable stock, salt and a few other seasonings.

Some of the seasoning might also come from drippings from whatever dish you are making. That is fine too.

Homemade gravy mix in a glass storage container

Additional Ingredients to add when making Brown Gravy

The last element is liquid. Since gravy mix already uses beef bouillon, you can also use beef broth or stock and add even more beefy flavor or just water.

Fat is the last piece of homemade gravy mix and totally optional. If you are using drippings, then you’ll get a little bit of this from that ingredient. Otherwise it takes the form of rendered bacon grease, butter and sometimes cream. All are totally acceptable.

Regardless of what type of gravy you are making, I strongly suggest waiting until the very end to season with SALT. Nearly all of the ingredients for making gravy have the potential to be salty and you don’t want to over salt the sauce!

Glass jar labeled for gravy mix

How do you make Gravy from Scratch?

To prepare gravy, in a small saucepan melt butter or meat drippings and add in one cup of water. Next, add in two tablespoons of the homemade brown gravy mix and whisk until smooth. You can add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Homemade gravy mix in a copper spoon

Homemade Brown Gravy Recipe Substitutions & Variations

  • Use seasoned salt
  • Dry Italian seasoning
  • Dry Ranch Seasoning
  • Grated garlic
  • Grated onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Minced giblets
  • Pan drippings
  • Fresh or dried herbs

How to serve Homemade Brown Gravy

From there, here are some items to serve your brown gravy on meatloaf, salisbury steak, cube steak, any type of beef, mashed potatoes, corn or anything else you want smothered in deliciousness!

How to fix salty Homemade Gravy

  • Add potato chunks to absorb salt. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove potato.
  • Counterbalance with sugar and/or ground black pepper.
  • Dilute your mixture with additional turkey stock, water and unsalted butter.
Close up of dry gravy mix

More homemade gravy recipes:

Brown Gravy Recipe FAQs

Can I make this into a chicken gravy?

Sure thing! Just substitute out the beef bouillon for chicken or even vegetable bouillon.

What are pan drippings?

Sometimes I forget to start with the basics. Drippings is the collective term for what is left in the roasting pan after cooking your turkey, what has “dripped” off.
This is usually a combination of fats, juices and seasoning. As you can imagine, this is like a flavor bomb! A little goes a long way.

Can you freeze gravy?

Sure! Just make sure to store in an airtight container. It might defrost a little thick, but thin it out with water, stock or wine and it’ll be just fine.

What is in dry gravy mix?

Only a few ingredients and probably most you already have on hand.
– Beef bouillon
– Salt
– Pepper
– Flour
But there are a ton of ways to customize your homemade gravy. Scroll up for my easy ideas!

What is the best way to reheat gravy?

In a saucepan over medium-low heat. Gravy will most likely thicken, so just whisk in water until smooth. You could also use stock or wine to thin it out.

How do I use arrowroot or cornstarch?

Simply use 2-3 tablespoons in replace of the flour. Note that using either of these will change the color and texture of your gravy slightly. Not in a bad way, just a little different.

What is the secret to good gravy?

While there are many ways to make good gravy, the biggest secrets are seasoning, not over salting and making sure it is not lumpy gravy.

Is gravy better with flour or cornstarch?

We prefer to use flour for gravy, but cornstarch can also used. It will have a slightly different texture and appearance, more velvety and shiny.

Why do you put sugar in gravy?

We do not use sugar in our gravy, but you can to help balance seasonings like pepper, heat or salt if you happen to accidentally over season in one way or another.

Why won’t my gravy thicken?

You might need more of a thickening agent or to let it cool a bit. Grvy will continue to thicken as it cools.

Homemade gravy mix for Pinterest
dry gravy mix

Homemade Brown Gravy from Scratch (Mix)

3.97 from 179 votes
Forget the ready gravy mix, make your own Homemade Gravy Mix with just a few ingredients and no time at all!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 3 tablespoons beef bouillon granules*
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black or white pepper


Dry Mix:

  • Mix all three ingredients in an airtight container and keep in a dry place for up to 6 months.

To prepare gravy:

  • In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoon unsalted butter OR 2 tablespoons meat drippings with 1 cup water, add 2 tablespoons of gravy mix, whisking until smooth. Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!


If you are using a cubed beef bouillon, use the back of a spoon to break it apart.
How do I use arrowroot or cornstarch? Simply use 2-3 tablespoons in replace of the flour. Note that using either of these will change the color and texture of your gravy slightly. Not in a bad way, just a little different.


Calories: 86 kcal, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 1 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Sodium: 42 mg, Potassium: 25 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Calcium: 4 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Calories: 86
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown gravy mix, homemade gravy mix
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Didn’t have any brown gravy mix and tried this one. It was delicious and I’ll never need to buy the packet mix again! Thank you for sharing!

      1. Because that is about how much you would get in a packet too- it needs to be there as a thickening agent.

  2. What if I have a recipe calling for dry gravy mix (to be put in the instant pot with my pork roast) but I don’t have any of that on hand. Instead I have Better than Bouillon Beef Base. How can I use that instead?

    1. That should be fine- is it the paste base or the granule base? You don’t really need to add anything to that. Just add about 2 teaspoons per cup of liquid

      1. It is the paste base. Does that make a difference? Should I mix it up with hot liquid first or just kind of smear it on the roast?

        1. It really depends on the recipe. If the recipe calls for liquid, then mix it in. The paste can burn depending on the cooking method.

  3. 5 stars
    I Love making Homemade gravy. My friends are always teasing me about looking for new recipes. This is a save for sure.

  4. 5 stars
    What a great idea! I am always forgetting the gravy at the holidays and by the time I go to get some, they are sold out! Definitely going to be making this soon!